Toronto flood control system put to the test for first time
Published Friday, May 5, 2017 1:31PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 5, 2017 3:47PM EDT
For the first time, flood and erosion infrastructure on Lake Ontario’s waterfront is being tested.
Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has built :flood and erosion control infrastructure on the Lake Ontario waterfront, designed to endure the force of the 100 Year Storm. TRCA has planned for it – and now, for the first time, it’s being put to the test,” TRCA said in a statement issued Monday.
“We’ve been planning for this kind of event for many, many years,” TRCA waterfront specialist Nancy Gaffney told CTV News Channel.
“With the rainfall we’ve seen this April it’s actually compounded the issue,” Gaffney said, explaining how heavy rain falling on already-sodden land is contributing to higher-than-normal water levels on the lake.
Environment Canada has said the City of Toronto should expect 50-70 millimetres of rain through Saturday.
But the Toronto area is prepared.
While rain, winds and waves, damage Toronto’s shoreline, designs for the structure were built to withstand Hurricane Hazel-sized storms.
TRCA said that lessons learned from this weekend will help inform future initiatives to protect people and property along the Toronto region shoreline.
Gaffney added: “We’re keeping an eye on the lake level, but it is expected to go down, it’s a natural process. Every 50 years or so, we are going to see this [water] level."
But water levels won’t be going down this weekend; in fact they’ll be rising.
The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board told CTV News that water flow will be reduced at a dam in Cornwall, resulting in a rise in Lake Ontario water levels.
They say there’s just too much water, and in order to balance all the levels, they need to reduce how much goes from Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence.
However, Gaffney told CTV News that the TRCA isn’t that concerned about the water level in their jurisdiction, which includes the City of Toronto, Durham, Peel and York Regions, where waterfront homes are typically set back from the shoreline.